The 2019 Audi A7 follows award-winning success by leading with creativity.
What’s more difficult than creating a masterpiece? Creating another. The challenge of following a vehicle as well-received as the original Audi A7 left Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte and his team with the obvious question: Just how different would the new Audi A7 look from the original? Would they have “the courage to make big changes?” he asked himself and his team.
These questions were posed not long after the original Audi A7 had won design awards and other accolades, such as Best in Category at the Australian International Design Awards in 2011 and International Car of the Year at ICOTY Awards in 2012. Lichte and his team knew there were risks and rewards for playing it safe and for straying too far from the original.
Start at the prologue
Designers make their livelihoods by exploring their imaginations. For Lichte, change was inevitable. The next Audi A7 needed to be easily recognized as an A7, but it would have to stand out for its new design elements. Like the latest-generation Audi A8, the new A7 draws much of its inspiration from the Audi Prologue concept car unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
24 LED light bars in the available headlights function as both daytime running lights and dynamic turn signals. When you signal your intent to turn, the white LEDs change to amber and move in a sweeping outward direction.
Much like the Audi Prologue, the Singleframe® grille on the new Audi A7 is situated low and stretches wider than before. The narrow headlights are also design elements you’ll notice on the Prologue. The low-sloping hood with inner and outer pairs of raised character lines can be found on both the concept and the production car. Along the tops of the curvaceous fenders are defined lines that evoke memories of the blistered fenders of the original Ur-Quattro sports coupe. And running from end to end is a taillight section that—like the Singleframe® grille—is there to emphasize width.
Expressing the aesthetics of motion, the available LED tailights with dynamic turn signals and animation feature 26 LED vertical segments that illuminate in sequence to greet or bid you farewell.
With the new Audi A7, Audi stays at the forefront of lighting innovation with available HD Matrix-design LED headlights and HD-Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light that feature daytime running lights with a unique, segmented, 24-piece LED daytime running light design. When a driver unlocks or locks the vehicle, the LEDs light up in an inward-and-outward sweep that adds a theatrical element before each drive. The rear taillights animate in similar fashion through the motion of the dynamic turn indicators.
From a profile view, the similarities between the two generations are most evident. The low, gradually rising and gracefully sloping Roof line that finishes with a neatly integrated tailgate remains. The rear quarters culminate in a tapering of all sides, much like the tail section of a yacht. The design team lowered the Shoulder line to help accentuate the musculature of the fenders, and a sculpted lower section along the doors gives it a tailored waistline.
Overall, the contours are more dynamic, and the eyes follow one design element to another. The angles are more acute, the lines are more sharply defined, and geometric shapes—such as hexagons and trapezoids—appear throughout.
Those geometric shapes can be found inside the revolutionary interior, too. The designers replaced most of the conventional buttons and switches with two touch-sensitive screens where climate control and infotainment selections are made. Operated in the same way you’d operate a tablet or smartphone, Audi interior designers incorporated haptic feedback so users could sense when a setting has been changed. When the car is turned off, the touchscreens are seamlessly hidden behind the Piano Black gloss panels integrated into the dashboard that give the interior a minimalistic aesthetic. When the car door is opened, the systems’ icons light up.
Lichte said, “With a successor, you have to take a design step.” And from this vantage point, it was a step in the
Finish with a synthesis
Initially, the Audi A7 will be powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged TFSI® V6 working in conjunction with a Seven-speed S tronic® dual-clutch automatic transmission. The quattro® all-wheel drive with ultra technology will be standard on the new A7. The car will use a 48-volt electrical system to help power the Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) and to help recuperate energy through regenerative braking.
Two suspension choices will be offered. Both will be based on the traditional spring and damper, while the available Sport suspension will feature a 20mm lower ride height for a lower center of gravity.
While the second-generation Audi A7 moves confidently into a new era with innovation and design distinction, what makes it unique hasn’t changed. Like its predecessor, the new A7 fuses the elements of several cars into one, creating a category unto itself. It’s the coupe with rear doors, the sports car of sedans, where grand touring performance is enjoyed in the comfort of a richly appointed interior and ergonomic excellence.
Lichte said, “We’ve taken a huge step forward with the new A7.” And from this vantage point, it was a step in the right direction.